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Local leaders gather to discuss Cuba’s democratic transition

DORAL, Fla. – President Joe Biden’s administration is lifting other restrictions from former President Donald Trump’s era in hopes of curbing migration at sea and at the US-Mexico border.

On Cuba’s Independence Day from Spain, local activists and politicians gathered to discuss US policy in Latin America. Exiles from different countries denounced oppressive governments.

On Friday there was a minute’s silence for the victims of communism and people gathered and planned to talk about a democratic transition in Cuba.

Orlando Gutierrez of the Cuban Resistance Assembly said an authoritarian regime can be changed with a few reforms.

“A totalitarian regime is a different animal, much more repressive, much more dangerous, and you need complete political change for there to be an improvement for the people,” Gutierrez said.

Those in exile here have said a democratic Cuba will have profound implications for the rest of Latin America.

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“The head of this monster, the Brain Trust, is in Havana, and what’s good for democracy in Havana is good for democracy in Managua,” said Manuel Prado of the Nicaraguan American Foundation.

At another meeting, representatives of the Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan communities asked Biden not to invite the leaders of those countries to the upcoming Americas Summit in Los Angeles.

“They have no respect for the rights or the lives of their people, so they have no place here,” said Ana Abaunza of the Initiative for Change, Justice, and Democracy.

The Biden administration is at the forefront of many discussions here in South Florida, days after the administration announced new policies toward Cuba and Venezuela.

The Biden administration will expand consular services and visa processing at the US Embassy in Havana. The US is also reinstating the probationary program for Cuban family reunification.

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Biden is also allowing more travel to other cities and removing money limits on what Cubans in South Florida can send to their families.

Many in South Florida who want to travel to the island and send money welcomed the new policy. But at a Republican event Friday in Doral, Rep. Carlos Gimenez denounced the new policy.

“Remittances no, I don’t think the remittances should be higher because the remittances go into the hands of the Cuban government,” Gimenez said.

There are reports that the White House is considering allowing a Cuban representative to attend the Americas Summit. The decision is not yet complete.

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https://www.local10.com/news/local/2022/05/20/local-leaders-gather-together-to-discuss-democratic-transition-in-cuba/ Local leaders gather to discuss Cuba’s democratic transition

Joel McCord

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